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Africa Open betting preview
By David John Last updated: 12th January 2010
Scotland's Callum Macaulay can land a 100/1 victory in the Africa Open at East London Golf Club, says Dave John.
After a three week break, we move to the third leg of the South African swing of the European Tour with the addition of the Africa Open to the schedule.
A Spaniard and a Scot have triumphed so far, so the home contingent will be hoping for a change of fortune at East London GC - the betting suggests they have very solid claims with five of the first six in the market chalked up by the layers.
Charl Schwartzel is the 9/1 jolly and you are punting on whether he can produce somewhere near his best game for four rounds.
If he does, then he has a very solid chance but he started with a 77 at Pearl Valley before recovering to finish inside the top 30 while he couldn't worry Pablo Martin out of the trophy either in the Alfred Dunhill at Leopard Creek.
I would leave him alone along with Richard Sterne, who has been inconsistent with a rash of moderate rounds mixed in with the decent stuff.
Sterne holds the course record at East London having fired a 61 12 months ago - but he highlighted the previous statement by following that blistering score with a 73.
James Kingston and Darren Fichardt are slightly bigger prices but both look poor options on the value front at less than 25/1.
Fichardt and Darren Clarke were among the runner's-up 12 months ago and Clarke revealed recently he is looking forward to having another crack at the links/parkland layout that saw him come up just one shot shy of Retief Goosen.
Clarke boasts a decent record in South Africa but I am still tempted to try elsewhere considering he is just 18/1.
Richie Ramsay broke his Tour duck last time out at Pearl Valley and he may well inspire fellow Scot Callum Macaulay to follow suit at 100/1.
The burly man from Falkirk lost his card in 2009 when he finished 134th in the Race To Dubai and then sufferered more disappointment when missing out at the Qualifying School by a single shot.
He is going to have to take his chances when they come along at the moment but he has shown enough promise to suggest he does not have much to fear in this company with the top echelon keeping their powder dry at the moment.
His 28 over the closing nine holes almost landed him the spoils in Madeira last season and showed he can make his presence felt at this level.
He will be fully aware that he must make hay and he could just take to a venue where the wind can blow at times.
Second pick this week is James Kamte, who is a proven winner in both South Africa and Asia and has more than enough talent to add a title to the CV on the European Tour.
He makes his debut at East London but has tons of experience playing on the Sunshine Tour where he has already secured three trophies.
He showed he can adapt as well after landing the 2009 Asian Tour International shortly after securing his card in that part of the world and he also holds ambitions of progressing to the PGA Tour in the USA.
A top 20 at the Alfred Dunhill reads well and we can forgive his average effort at Pearl Valley considering he can be backed at 125/1 this time around.
At twice those odds is Trevor Fisher Jr, who could be worth including to spring an almighty surprise.
He has won five events in South Africa since 2003 - three coming since 2008 - and he showed a liking for this venue with a top 25 here 12 months ago.
He recovered well on that occasion from an opening 74 and his form on the whole towards the back end of 2009 suggests he could be capable of better yet.
He missed both cuts in the Alfred Dunhill and South African Open but a string of good results prior to that give the impression his game is in good shape so the inflated price makes some appeal.
1pt e.w. Callum Macaulay at 100/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 general).
Claims in this company and could be inspired by Richie Ramsay's win.
1pt e.w. James Kamte at 125/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 totesport).
Big talent and proven winner who can make an impact.
1pt e.w. Trevor Fisher Jr at 250/1 (1/4 1,2,3,4,5 general).
Huge price and shown he can handle this week's venue.
Fisher Jr T4th at 250/1
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